Low deposits and slow cruise market ‘will drive peak holiday sales’

Peak holiday sales in 2009 will be driven by low deposit offers while the cruise market is likely to create a number of special deals.

Advantage commercial director Julia Lo Bue-Said said although the number of consumers cancelling their holidays has grown, low deposits proved effective last year in driving the peaks market.

She added: “You will see offers with low deposits being made to get the sales in, but they will be at a level that does deter customers from cancelling.”

Lo Bue-Said also said cruise operators might offer a number of reduced-price deals as many have sold just 40% of their 2009 offering compared with the 60% that is typical for this stage in the year.

She added that although the consortium was 36% up on its sales for summer 2009 as of the end of September, things have changed since the slump in the UK economy and this will affect everyone.

Lo Bue-Said said: “We are not going to see the levels of growth that some operators and business partners are targeting.”

Instead she said Advantage members should hope to maintain similar levels of sales as in 2008, a year which proved strong for business.

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